2-1. The Environment. A soldier's actions have an effect on the environment each day. If
something is poured onto the ground or into a storm drain, it may pollute the drinking water.
Chemicals that soak into the soil contaminate plants and eventually enter lakes, ponds, and aquifers.
Once these chemicals enter primary water sources, it is only a matter of time before they contaminate
the drinking water. Actions taken to prevent contamination are inherently more effective and
efficient than actions taken to remedy a situation.
2-2. Soldier Actions. The Army wants soldiers to think about the environmental consequences of
their actions before they act. Each time soldiers begin a task, they should ask, "How will this activity
affect the environment?"
a. Answering this question begins the process of assessing the environmental risks associated
with the job. Here are some common situations in which a soldier's actions affect the environment:
Weapons maintenance and cleaning.
Nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) equipment and decontamination equipment
Supply, storage, and transportation.
Maneuver damage control.
Weapons training and demolition.
b. Beginning in the unit area, soldiers perform maintenance and training using their assigned
equipment. During training or deployment, soldiers use the equipment and supplies to perform their
missions in a field environment. Before redeploying or returning from training, soldiers account for
equipment, supplies and waste materials. Upon returning to the unit area, soldiers clean their
equipment and prepare for the next mission. In each of these situations, soldiers perform their jobs in
an environmentally sound manner.
2-3. Vehicle Maintenance. During vehicle maintenance, fuels, oils, coolant, or other fluids may be
spilled. Clean up spills immediately to eliminate hazards that could lead to personal injury (usually
by slipping and falling). This also gives the spill less time to soak into the ground, which helps
conserve water resources. Take simple precautions (place drip pans, diapers, or absorbents under
vehicles) to prevent or reduce pollution. Keep a copy of the applicable material safety data sheet
(MSDS) for each HM on hand in a binder in the motor pool.
a. Compliance. Disposing of products as specified in unit SOPs and installation regulations will
help reduce solid waste. Maintaining and operating vehicles and other equipment, including oil-water
separators, according to specifications in applicable TMs will help reduce air and noise pollution.